The Invicta Dynamos came away from their first visit of the season to Bracknell with a victory to maintain their 100% record in 2020. Injury kept out defensive trio Arran Strawson, Joe Stephenson and Mark Williams meaning Tom Davis played in defence, partnering Henry Aiken.
It was the Bracknell Hornets who had the first opportunity meaning an early touch for Grandy-Smith but the in-form netminder easily knocked away an effort from Tamas Elias before Mos’ import Tomas Banovský hit the side netting at the other end of the ice. Moments later and the visitors attacked again with Buckland hitting a strike that rebounded off of Croyle and Leone was just beaten to the puck on the rebound. The Mos continued to put pressure on the hosts with Aiken having enough time on the puck to hit a long pass to Dell on the left flank with the youngster calling Matthew Croyle into another save.
The Hornets then set-up an attack which required Grandy-Smith to push out an effort from Steve Osman with Harrison Lillis clearing the puck to safety. The netminder show continued with an outstanding save by Croyle when Dell and Banovský linked to play Elliot Farrell in front of goal. Huska then drilled a pass across goal with Leone on the back post but a block denied the Mos the opener. It soon came though – Leone breaking the deadlock with a strike from the slot into the net assisted by Stedman and Huska on 13:04.
Owen Dell almost doubled the lead soon after but the busy Croyle was on hand to keep his team in with a chance. The first penalties of the game followed on 16:04 with Riley Ikin (hooking) and Anthony Leone (roughing) both given two minutes each leaving a 4 on 4 in play. That soon changed to a powerplay for Invicta when Michael Stratford received an unsporting conduct penalty on 17:13. When Ikin returned to the ice he led a break and from nowhere Aiken rescued Invicta with a great dive to stop the Hornet with Aiken then colliding with the post.
Invicta went 2-0 up via Jake Stedman with the strike early in the second period on 20:49 with the forward on hand to finish the set-up play created by Henry Aiken and Juraj Huska. The Mos successfully defended an Elliot Farrell cross check penalty on 21:28 and almost scored on the shorthand when they won the puck with Huska knocking it forward for Leone to carry into the Hornets’ zone and call Croyle into action. When back to full strength the Mos went close the moment Farrell skated back on the ice and steamed into attack with the edge of Croyle’s glove enough to tip the puck past the post.
Invicta then struck two quick goals. On 25:48 it was 3-0 with Davis and Leone creating an opportunity for Huska to fire past Croyle. On 27:48 Huska doubled his goal count by striking low and hard into the net, again assisted by Davis and Leone.
The Hornets were given another powerplay on 28:17 after Grandy-Smith slashed at Steve Osman with Owen Dell serving the penalty on his behalf. The Mos defended the powerplay and with Dell returning to the ice Harvey Hind-Pitcher cross checked Dell and also looked to drop the gloves – until Harrison Lillis came steaming over with his gloves dropped ready to face Hind-Pitcher only for the Hornet to quickly leave the scene. Lillis was penalised with a 2 minutes cross check and 10 minutes incitement penalty with Hind-Pitcher getting a 2 minutes cross check penalty on 30:54.
A big save came on 32:41 when Michael Stratford was through on goal and looked certain to score until Grandy-Smith dived big to pull out the save. The Hornets eventually got on the scoresheet seconds later with Matt Foord scoring against his former side to ruin the Mos hopes of a shutout on 32:55 – Foord making it 4-1 and being assisted by David Millner and Louis Colvin. A powerplay was presented to the Hornets on 35:02 with Ryan Giles penalised for a late hit and the home side punished Invicta and made it 4-2 on 36:13 via another ex-Dynamo – a rocket of a shot from Louis Colvin assisted by Hopkins and Millner.
The final period had Millner bringing the puck out of defence and eventually shooting at the Mos’ goal with Grandy-Smith covering the puck well. With 42:31 on the clock Matt Foord hooked at Juraj Huska and it gave the Mos a powerplay which they capitalised on – a rocket of a shot from Huska bulging the net as the puck flew past Croyle with Invicta now leading 5-2 and assists going to Leone and Stedman on 43:44. With Huska involved in all 5 Invicta goals he was still looking for more and another slapshot from the sniper this time took a deflection and took the puck wide off the mark.
The Hornets then put two shots on the Mos’ net, the first via Foord but the score remained 5-2 with ten minutes to go. Tamas Elias got past Lillis on the left flank but the attempt at goal was little trouble for Grandy-Smith. Invicta then pushed forward and danger man Huska flung the puck outside the Hornets goalmouth from wide right with Leone an inch from getting a tip on the puck. Jake Stedman then created his own opportunity when he dummied Elias and hit a backhand shot just over the bar. Elias was later in the penalty box when caught slashing and Invicta’s best chance on the powerplay came when Banovský cut inside from the right with Croyle catching the incoming shot.
The last penalty came in bizarre fashion on 55:59 – Brandon Webster getting two penalty minutes for illegal equipment when he didn’t skate off when his helmet was knocked off. Nevertheless it was Invicta who went closest next when Leone intercepted a pass and broke free on the shorthand but Croyle denied him. The Hornets grabbed a late consolation goal on 58:49 when Millner scored via a deflection with the puck bobbling over the line for 5-3 in favour of the Mos.
So its three wins in three games for the Dynamos in 2020 and Juraj Huska collecting a deserved man of the match award for his hand in all 5 Invicta’ goals.
Bracknell Points: C. Cooke 0+1, L. Colvin 1+1, M. Foord 1+0, D. Millner 1+2, D. Hopkins 0+2
Invicta Points: H. Aiken 0+1, J. Stedman 1+2, T. Davis 0+2, A. Leone 1+3, J. Huska 3+2
Bracknell: M. Croyle – 83.87% (31 shots /5 goals)
Invicta: Z. Grandy-Smith – 92.50% (40 shots /3 goals)
Man of the match:
Bracknell: Louis Colvin
Invicta: Juraj Huska
Written by Lee Allen.